Ski pass price increase irks seniors | VailDaily.com

Ski pass price increase irks seniors

Edward Stoner

Bret Hartman/Vail DailyFred Distelhorst, 76, of Vail says he remembers when he only had to pay $30 for a senior ski pass. Vail Resorts is charging $599 for over-70 senior ski passes this year.

VAIL – For Daphne Slevin, Vail Resorts’ new ski pass price for seniors over 70 is hard to swallow.”I think it’s outrageous,” said Slevin, 71, who has lived in Vail since 1962. “I definitely will have second thoughts (about buying the pass). I will look into other types of passes, maybe a 10-day pass.”The pass, which was $349 last year, costs $599 this year. Until 2000, seniors over 70 could ski for free at Vail. Kelly Ladyga, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts, said the price increase is part of a four- to five-year transition in pass pricing for seniors. She said seniors comprise a larger portion of the company’s business and they demand services, such as grooming and ski patrol, that increase costs.Increased prices for seniors ensure reasonable prices for other generations, she said. “We’re finding it increasingly difficult to justify pricing that may seem like subsidizing one group over another,” she said. Ladyga said the 70-and-over pass still represents a 65 percent discount off the full adult pass price. She said she doesn’t know if the senior pass price will continue to rise.

The over-70 senior pass is the only five-resort unrestricted pass Vail Resorts sells. Other “full passes” are only good at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge, but not Heavenly in California.Avon resident Murray Heminger, 74, isn’t happy about the increase, either. “I guess too many people over 70 have a lot of money,” he said. “I don’t.”As he approached 70, he thought he might not have to pay at all to ski, he said. Fred Distelhorst of Vail has been buying the over-70 pass for six years. He remembers the time when he only had to pay $30 to get his picture taken for his pass.”It looks like they’re not very interested in us old folks,” he said.For seniors 65-69, a four-resort pass is $1,299 this year, up from $1,149 last year.This year’s adult full pass costs $1,699, up from $1,649 last year. A child’s full pass costs $499. It was $429 last year. A teen pass will be $699, up from $629 last year.

Merchant pass prices for this year haven’t been announced yet.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or estoner@vaildaily.com.Vail, ColoradoPass prices for seniors

Vail Resorts: $599 for unlimited five-mountain season pass for skiers 70 and older; $1,299 for skiers 65-69 (four-mountain pass).Telluride: $499 season pass for skiers 65 and older.Aspen: $219 for four-mountain pass for skiers 70 and over.Copper: Seniors over 70 can ski for free from Mondays through Thursdays.Mammoth: $650 for season pass for skiers 65-79; people over 80 ski free.Deer Valley: $525 for skiers 65 and over until Nov. 1; $615 after Nov. 1. Jackson Hole: $865 for skiers 65 and older until Aug. 31; $965 from Sept. 1-31; $1,050 after Oct. 1